Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by a Lovefraud reader who we’ll call “Marcia.”
I met him on Chemistry.com in February of 2009. He wrote to me through the site and we corresponded several times before speaking on the phone. I liked his profile very well and enjoyed his style of writing and what he wrote in our correspondence. When we spoke on the phone, we had no problem starting and maintaining a conversation on the phone. He was articulate, intelligent and had all the time in the world for me.
We met on March 6, 2009 for a drink. I got there first and very symbolic of our relationship, he blindsided me and sneaked behind me and playfully grabbed the back of my neck. The attraction and chemistry was immediate. He was extremely charming. He looked into my eyes with such a piercing look that I felt he was seeing through me. He was fun. He made me laugh. He treated me like a gentleman. He had a great energy. I just enjoyed being around him and with him all the time.
That very same night we had dinner together and made love. Since I was an hour away from him, I was staying at a hotel that night. So he stayed with me and we had a wonderful and relaxing breakfast on the porch next morning. When I was leaving he asked me if I could see him next day. I was coming to town to see a ballet with my girlfriend so we decided to have dinner with my girlfriend. He invited me to stay at his place that night and I accepted.
Lavish flattery began immediately. There was nothing I could do wrong. I was sexy, I was beautiful, I was attractive, my energy was great, it was fun to be around me, I was the best mother, I was the best doctor, I was the best lover, I was the best friend, I had great taste for clothing and jewelry, nobody has ever loved him like I did, he had never loved anyone like he loved me, he would marry me in a heartbeat, finally he had found the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, that is why he had never settled down before, he did not want to settle for less, and I was the proof he was right to wait for the right person.
Every time he would see me, he couldn’t catch his breath (he was such a great actor, there was a visible pause in the movement of his chest). I was wise, I was brave, I was evolved, I was everything he would ever wanted from a woman. I was funny. He had such a great time with me no matter what we did together. I was fit. I was strong. He would send me fifty text messages a day telling me how much he loved me and how much he missed me and how even exchanging text messages he would be aroused, and how he was so attracted to me. He would bring me roses, buy me jewelry, music, wine, etc.
The pity play
Pity play began almost at the same time. He told me how abusive his parents were. How his mom used to scream at him and beat him. How his father was always dissatisfied with him and how he was refusing to tell him that he was proud of him to this day. How his parents’ divorce when he was 20 affected him because he was put in the middle. And then it was his wife and how she cheated on him with many men including his closest friends, and how she got pregnant many times and had an abortion every time, how he knew it was because those were not his children, how she gave him a genital wart and he had to have surgery to remove it. Then it was his ex-girlfriend and how she was dependent on drugs and him and she would not let go of him and how he could not leave her because everyone in her family had abandoned her after she had disclosed that she had been sexually abused by a family member. And how his boss was treating him just like his dad did and how abusive the boss was, etc.
From that point on, we had four months of amazing time together. Retrospectively that was the “honeymoon phase of our relationship.” Also retrospectively I see that things were moving very fast. Only a week after we met, he was telling his mother that he has found the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with and in the first month of our relationship he bought me a ring as a present. It was not an engagement ring and he did not propose but he emphasized that he had never given a woman a ring before.
Very quickly he started introducing me to his friends. He “could not wait.” We went and visited his mom in Rhode Island for Mother’s Day and she liked me and my seven-year old daughter very much. She told him “she is beautiful not only on the outside but inside.” In that trip I also met his father, his stepmother, and two of his three brothers. During my visit, his mom told me that he has brought so many women home that she had told him “no more women unless they have a ring on their hand.” I looked at him, he laughed and pointed to the ring and said, “she has a ring.”
That was the very first time I questioned him. I told him I thought taking me to his mom was something special. He became very defensive and angry. He said after his wife of five years left him 18 years earlier, he had been single and dating and “naturally” had met many women. He said he had taken about five of them home but not to introduce to his mom. He just invited them to join him in the trip to his hometown. He said he had taken only two women to introduce to his mom as people he had considered marrying. He was upset with me for a couple of days after we returned but then sent me an email and apologized for his mother’s “insensitive” remark and his own as well.
On another occasion when we were staying with one of his friends when his friend’s 8-year-old daughter asked him why he did not bring his “other girlfriends.” He asked who she was talking about and she named a few names! He did not respond but I immediately felt like a number and completely disposable. I discussed how it made me feel with him but his universal response was anger and blaming things on me, my “insecurity,” my “fears,” etc.
Very soon he prepared me for borrowing money. He told me how someone had scammed him on paying his student loans and how he had all this debt to pay but it was all going to be clear in a couple of months. How he had been helping a friend in advertising for his business and how he was not paying him and how there were thousands of dollars he would be receiving soon from him. How he was so responsible with money and he would never use a credit card and only use debit card so he knows he only spends the money he has. How he would appreciate it if I put costs of all the activities we were doing together on my credit cards and once his student loan is clear, he would pay me back. Soon he would ask me to put charges related to his canoe club on my credit card promising that once he collects money from members of the club, he would pay me back. Once his boss fired him, he could not pay for his bills and rent and he would insist that he could not borrow money from me. He had gained my trust at such a deep level that I handed him a blank signed check and then he wrote close to $2000 and cashed it. Later on when I asked him to pay me back, he said he neither had the money to pay me back nor he owed me any money.
As described in any typical relationship with a sociopath/narcissist, our relationship had three distinct phases: honeymoon, tension building, and finally violent phase.
In the honeymoon phase even when we text messaged or talked he would get aroused. Whenever he saw me, whether it was an act or a true reaction, I could visibly see his chest would stop moving and he would take a deep breath and would tell me, “you take my breath away.” He could not keep his hands off me and we made love twice a day when we were together.
In the tension-building phase, our sex life suddenly went from what I would rate 10 out of 10 to 1 out of 10. This was so sudden and so drastic that I suspected he might have developed erectile dysfunction. He no longer initiated having sex with me and when I did, 9 out of 10 times he would say he was “tired.” Other excuses included being “busy” or “depressed.”
This went on until November when I found hundreds of pictures of naked women he was having “cybersex” with on his laptop. There were some emails suggesting he had invited these women to meet and have a drink and “see where it goes” but I had no proof this had actually had happened. He adamantly denied having a physical relationship with any of them. I broke up with him for a week but he asked for forgiveness, cried and said he has had sex-addiction for five years and now is going to get help and promised he would stop doing it right away. I got back with him but our sexual relationship never improved.
Regardless of how legitimate my question or concern was, his very first reaction was always becoming defensive and turning things around and attacking me. This was always followed by a few days of completely shutting me off, not contacting me and even ignoring me when I reached out. Early on in our relationship, after a couple of days, he would contact me and apologize for his reaction. But after the honeymoon phase, the days he would shut me out became longer and longer and no apology was offered. Instead, over time he would build up a grudge and become punitive. In response to many red flags in his behavior, he would accuse me of being insecure, having fear-based reactions, having no impulse control, blowing small things up to huge problems, being depressed, being anxious, not exercising enough, at one time sleeping too much, in another time sleeping too little, lack of self-confidence, etc. At the end he said I was crazy, I was fucked up, I had taken joy out of his life, I had brought negative energy into his life, I had made him depressed, he was not excited to see me anymore, he did not want to be around me and he wanted me out of his life.
By then I had recognized how self-centered he was. It was never about me and my needs. It was only and always about him and no matter how much I gave, he would feel his “deeper needs were not fulfilled.”
The relationship moved into violent phase and beginning mid January, on multiple occasions he tried to hit me and even choke me. This was particularly dangerous three weeks ago when I discovered many text messages on his cell phone indicating he has been sleeping with multiple women during our relationship. When confronted him, he described details of his sexual relationship with this women behind my back, without protection, like he was talking about weather. He had no remorse and no shame and did not offer an apology. He hurt me with such a righteous indignation and entitlement that it was beyond my comprehension. His absolute callous disregard for my feelings and legitimate needs were astonishing. He continued to blame everything, including his cheating and lying to me, on me.
Upon discovery of undeniable truth on his text messages and speaking with the women involved, I left him. I did file a police report but he lied through his teeth and police did not pursue the investigation. Following the tactic of offense is the best defense, he did file multiple police reports on me including one of harassment. He also filed for a protective order, which was denied. Currently I am suing him in Small Claims Court for the money he owes me.